Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Konoweka Ladies Need More than Tailoring Skills

Jackie at the machine.
The space that signals the place to stop looks somehow different. The rusted green slide is gone. Yet the children who come running when I appear are exactly the same. I found three of the Konoweka ladies working on a bedcover in a tiny dirt-floored room. Pieces of orange, purple, and flowered fabric patched into the top of what will eventually be a single size bed cover.

Pastor Jessica shows off her boy shirt.
We enjoy a short time of greeting and fellowship before looking at the 1 Corinthians 13 verses about love. I’m struck by Pastor Jessica’s teaching and consider how the various attributes – knowledge, wisdom, and the like – may not be intended as mutually exclusive but instead, perhaps, conjoined to love. For example, knowledge alone is a weapon. Knowledge with love is an instrument. I think more about all my various qualities or flaws and about how different they might appear when integrated with love.

Sarah shows off her first dress.
The ladies seemed to have made little progress during my absence. Many reasons passed over their lips and I tried to listen and understand. Yet, I chided them a bit for not continuing their practice by taking apart and putting together the same garment until perfected. They complained of needing a workshop to keep the machines in good order. I asked them, though, how having a workshop would change their motivation to practice or to find customers. We discussed the cycle of tailoring, marketing themselves and their products, and the importance of quality. I’ll return in a month to see their progress and to devote an extended time with them, perhaps including a trip to the market for the whole group. Pray with me, please, that they would be motivated, creative, and problem solvers. I don’t want to give up but I need wisdom about how to properly encourage them without throwing money down a hole.